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Reality Shows Continue to Plumb the Depths

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 15, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 15, 2009 |

Reality producers are stepping up the bullshit again. Just weeks after FOX announced that it’d be rolling out “More to Love” — a dating show with overweight contestants — and “Something’s Gotta Go” — a reality show where actual employees of a company are forced to fire one of their own — NBC is now recruiting a future felon for its summer celebrity reality show, “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here!”

The show, based on a U.K. hit, takes several C-level celebrities and pits them against each other in challenges, with the proceeds going to charity. The charity, of course, is the celebrities involved. They are paid $60,000 an episode (though, they can be voted off, which explains their tears). Blagojevich’s participation is pending court approval, as his travel restrictions have to be loosened so that he can participate in the show, which will be filming in Costa Rica.

The NBC’s summer schedule will also include another round of “America’s Got Talent,” as well as a few new scripted shows, including “The Philanthropists” starring James Purefoy and Neve Cambpell (oh, Neve. Really?). It’s about a billionaire who gives away money to people in need. Also on tap, “Merlin,” a 13-part series about the wizard of Camelot. And, of course, a mini-series, Meteor, about a rock hurtling toward the Earth. That’s an original idea.

But, NBC is banking on “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here!” to be the linchpin of their summer schedule. They plan on airing it five nights a week for a full month.

Of course, Blagojevich isn’t the only criminal poised to star in a reality show. Guess who else wants a reality show? Dog killer Michael Vick. He’s currently talking to producers about a reality show that would follow him from the day of his release, July 20th (really? Already?), and it would purportedly show him trying to make amends for his past sins. In other words, some network may be rewarding the motherfucker for animal cruelty. Apparently he needs the money to pay for millions in debts in legal fees. The poor bastard.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.